Jirisan Mountain AND Bijindo Island- Chuseok break


I’ll admit it… Ever since we moved to Korea I have had it in my head that we should be “traveling” every chance we get (while this is something Tom and I both want to do) for whatever reason when I think of “travel” I think of airplane, leaving the country, and discovering a new country that I haven’t been to.

We have been really lucky to have had three 4 day (or 5 day) weekends since we started in April with another 4 day weekend coming up the first week of October…along with 10 days of vacation in August when we went to Malaysia, and also a really big 21 day winter vacation coming up in less than 100 days!!! Why is it that EVERY single time I find out we have days off or vacation days coming up that I feel the need to leave Korea when Korea still feels new to us? We have certainly not explored all that Korea has to offer, and I would even go as far to say that we haven’t even discovered 1/8 of it!!! Without fail, though, as soon as I hear we have vacation I am frantically checking AIR ASIA’s page to find the cheapest deals to travel Southeast Asia.

What I am getting at is simple: Some of the BEST vacations we have had have been ones where we stayed in Korea to explore and travel. Like Jeju island, Discovering the Shinan Islands, and this one- the one I am about to tell ya about! I’ve learned it’s the simple things that make me happy… AND that can happen just as easily (if not easier) while we discover more about Korea. Tom and I have a list started on the things we want to do in Korea that include things like: The tour of the DMZ, Making it to all 20 of the National Parks to hike (and hopefully more then once), Visiting all 33 of these beautiful islands, Staying in a traditional temple overnight, skiing with friends in the winter, and attending various festivals around Korea such as the famous Mud festival, Jinju lantern festival, and the tea festival that takes place not to far from where we live…just to name a FEW!

Korea has SO much to offer and I imagine our list will continue to grow the more we discover. For Korean Thanksgiving which fell September 18- 22 this year… First, Tom and I decided to hike in Jirisan National park. It was in Jirisan over the Korean Thankgiving that we hiked the second highest peak in Korea after tackling the highest peak in Korea at Halla Mountain on Jeju island in June. We spent two days camping in Jirisan National park before we packed up our stuff and headed to meet 6 of our friends for 2 more days of camping on Bijindo (Bijin island.) The city we first drove to was called Tongyong (about 2 hours from our city of Yeosu)  where we boarded the ferry. We did a lot of relaxing, a bit of hiking, sunbathing, swimming, and even snuck in some marshmallow roasting n’ s’more making. YUM. CNN wrote about this slice of paradise here where we first became intrigued with the thought of visiting Bijindo.

Don’t get me wrong… I am always excited when we decide to visit other countries (and I am so pumped to tell ya what our winter vacation plans are when we have 21 vacation days in January/ February this year!!!!) but it was such a great lesson for me to learn that we can still “travel” when we are traveling Korea.

Below are my FAVORITE pictures from our 5 days off (excluding the big hike as I know Tom will document the hike very soon):


Exploring near the camp site in Jirisan

Exploring near the camp site in Jirisan



Nothing like fresh mountain water...

Nothing like fresh mountain water…


Goodbye Jirisan National Park and Hello Bijindo Island :)

Goodbye Jirisan National Park and Hello Bijindo Island 🙂


Hiking Bijindo

Hiking Bijindo

Casual workout during our hike :)

Casual workout during our hike 🙂

Love this guy, this view, and hiking.

Love this guy, this view, and hiking.

The view from the top of the hike. STUNNING!

The view from the top of the hike. STUNNING!

Sunny and 80 all weekend. My favorite weather.

Sunny and 80 all weekend. My favorite weather.


4 tents. 8 friends.

4 tents. 8 friends.


The most beautiful sunsets I have seen in ALL of Korea.

The most beautiful sunsets I have seen in ALL of Korea.


Sometimes the greatest adventures are just outside of our doorstep.

About Elicia Shepard

I'm unique just like you. I've learned every person has a story which makes us who we are. One minute I am here..then I am gone. Discovering unknown places and people is an addiction I am proud of and will be an endless journey of mine. Smiling is not a pastime it's what I do. I live for moments that take my breath away. Falling in love is the greatest feeling-and the biggest risk. I thrive off of risks.Challenges. Adrenaline rushes. Making others smile. Art is all around and in ourselves. I love taking an unknown path not knowing where it'll lead. Mystery is beautiful. Compassion, kindness, and love- things I will always strive for. Know what you believe in. Stand up for it. Never be afraid to feel. Time waits for no one.Ever. Children inspire me. God fires me. Happiness is being with those you love.I am really blessed. I think God is love and forgiveness and I think he wants us to be good people and love EVERYONE. Figure out who you are and what that means to you-It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself (and you deserve it.) Live frugally on surprise. Breathe. Be who you are. Be an outcast...If you wanna find me I will be where the wind blows...Wherever that may take me.

10 responses »

  1. okay, first, before I forget – the green tea plantations (I think they are called that – right?) that are terraced up the hillside are one of the places I really, really want to see. My kids – probably not so much. But we saw them in a kdrama we recently watched and it was so, so gorgeous. And not that far from you at all! Can’t wait to read about that!

    And this – camping and hiking and just enjoying life in the area right around you – is awesome. I am amazed at how many national parks there are in Korea – especially for the size of the country. I have heard Seorksan is especially nice. Your Chusok weekend looks amazing!!

    • The tea plantation pictures I have seen look gorgeous! The “famous” place in Jeollanamdo for the Tea festival is in Boseong… which I think would be a 2 hour drive. 🙂 We are really looking forward to getting to Seorksan before the winter time hopefully! We have heard great things about it.

  2. Pingback: Bijindo Island (비진도) | KLIMBING KOREAN MOUNTAINS

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